A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that LEGO Legends of Chima: Laval's Adventure is a pretty standard Lego adventure. The game's characters engage in a bit of cartoonish violence that sees bad-guy minifigures broken into to piles of plastic bricks, but there's also a lot of puzzle solving that requires players to put on their thinking caps. Plus, the game may encourage players to get busy creating things with their own real-world Lego collections. Note that this particular Lego game promotes a specific Lego line of products: Legends of Chima. Kids who play the game will likely want to buy these building sets and vice versa.
What's it about?
Founded on LEGO's popular Legends of Chima line of construction sets, LEGO LEGENDS OF CHIMA: LAVAL'S ADVENTURE stars the lion Laval and several of his animal allies in a fight against Cragger the Crocodile and his minions. The action is very much like that of other LEGO games, only without the pop culture brands -- Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, etc. -- that have helped make the franchise so appealing not just to kids but adults as well. Players work through missions that require them to fight enemies, solve simple crank and lever puzzles, bust LEGO models to pieces to collect studs, and then, occasionally, use what's left over on the ground to build a new object, like a statue or a ramp. A palace acts as a hub where players can buy stuff and view their collections, and players can always go back and replay levels with some of the game's 60 characters to unlock secrets and new items.
Is it any good?
LEGO Legends of Chima: Laval's Adventure looks lovely and controls well -- especially if you're playing the PlayStation Vita version of the game, which allows for intuitive camera control via its second thumbstick and makes looking around and exploring the game's three-dimensional environments a lot easier. And with more than a dozen lengthy levels -- plus plenty of replay value, thanks to items and areas that can only be unlocked via a second play-through with different characters -- there's plenty of value here.
However, if you're among the players who enjoy LEGO games for their cheeky pop culture parodies as much as their action, you may be a little disappointed. Kids familiar with the LEGO toys will surely enjoy seeing them come to life here, but others will likely miss the witty banter of the LEGO Batman games and the clever pantomimes of the LEGO Star Wars series. The Chima characters aren’t without their charm, but they're no Joker or Han Solo. Plus, there's no co-op mode. It’s not a bad little LEGO adventure, but it's certainly not the best.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about creativity. What sorts of things do you like to build with your LEGO sets? Did the game give you any new ideas of what you might want to build in the future?
Families can also talk about the concepts of loyalty, friendship, and betrayal. Have you ever had a friend who began acting less than friendly? Do you think you could ever be friends with him or her again? How can people earn trust back once it's been lost?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita
- Subjects: Hobbies: building, collecting
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations
Thinking & Reasoning: logic, solving puzzles, strategy
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: June 25, 2013
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.